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Defense Claims Personal Injury Lawsuits in Dallas

Every day, people in Dallas are injured due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts of other persons or businesses. When someone is injured through no fault of their own, he or she may be eligible to bring a personal injury claim to hold the at-fault party responsible for the financial damages caused by the injury. Most personal injury cases involve filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer and sometimes also filing a personal injury lawsuit.

When you have a personal injury claim, you need experienced, aggressive legal representation that can help you build a persuasive case for compensation. Since 1971, the Dallas personal injury lawyers of Kraft & Associates have fought for the rights of people injured in car accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, pedestrian accidents and other types of accidents throughout the greater Dallas area.

We are an established professional law firm. Our attorneys and staff have been with our firm for an average of 23 years, demonstrating our solid experience and dedication to fighting for the rights of injured victims. Our record of success has been recognized by our peers and fellow community members. Our attorneys have been recognized by the Super Lawyers publication, in addition to being voted Top Attorneys in D Magazine, a local Dallas publication.

While fighting for the rights of those who have been injured, our firm also works to give back to the local community. Our team recently volunteered with the “Feed My Starving Children” non-profit here in Dallas.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury through no fault of your own, contact a compassionate Dallas personal injury lawyer at Kraft & Associates. Call to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your legal options and to learn how our firm can help you pursue just compensation.

Our Dallas injury lawyers handle personal injury claims on a contingency basis. That means that you do not have to pay us anything unless we are able to obtain a financial recovery for you.

Common Defenses in Dallas Personal Injury Lawsuits

You may have been injured in an accident that you believe was someone else’s fault. However, you may be surprised when the insurance company representing the at-fault party, or their legal counsel, try to shift the blame to you. Unfortunately, this is a common tactic. You will need a strong attorney to stand up to attempts by the defense team to shift the blame.

Some of the common defenses that our attorneys have seen asserted against our clients’ personal injury claims include:

Contributory Negligence by the Plaintiff

One of the primary ways that an at-fault party may seek to reduce or eliminate liability after an accident is to argue that the injured plaintiff is partially or totally at fault for his or her own injuries. For example, in a rear-end car accident, the at-fault driver may try to argue that the injured plaintiff failed to signal a lane-change and therefore was partially at-fault for the rear-end accident.

The state of Texas follows a legal doctrine of modified comparative fault in assessing fault and whether an injured individual is entitled to compensation. A plaintiff cannot recover damages if he or she is found to be 51 percent or more at fault for the accident. If the injured plaintiff is determined to be 20 percent at-fault for the accident, then any damages awarded by a court will be reduced by 20 percent. Using that example, if an injured plaintiff is awarded $100,000 in damages and is found to be 20 percent at fault, the plaintiff’s final compensation would be $80,000.

Lack of Fault by the Defendant

A defendant in a personal injury lawsuit may argue that he or she bears no fault for the plaintiff’s injuries. The defendant may argue that the injured plaintiff is fully responsible for his or her own injuries or may claim that a third party was responsible for causing the plaintiff’s injuries.

Assumption of Risk by the Injured Person

The defendant may contend that the injured plaintiff took part in a clearly dangerous activity and therefore assumed the risk of any injury. Typically, the assumption of risk doctrine applies when a plaintiff engages in an obviously dangerous activity or one that has obvious risks of injury.

The defense also may assert that an injured plaintiff assumed the risk of injury by signing a release of liability or another waiver agreement. However, courts may decline to recognize such liability waivers when a plaintiff is injured by a defendant’s gross negligence or purposeful actions, or if the language of a release agreement does not clearly indicate that an injured party knowingly waived his or her rights to seek compensation for injuries.

Plaintiff’s Pre-Existing Injuries

An insurance adjuster may ask you to sign a medical release to allow access to your medical records. The insurance adjuster wants to rifle your medical file in search of pre-existing injuries that can be dredged up to undermine your claim.

If you had suffered similar injuries in the past or other injuries to the same areas of the body, the defense may argue that you were not actually injured by the defendant. Instead, you experienced a continuation of pre-existing injuries.

Alternatively, a defendant may seek to reduce the damages a plaintiff may be entitled to by arguing that you merely suffered an aggravation of pre-existing injuries.

Do not agree to sign a release presented by an insurance company granting access to your medical records without consulting a Dallas injury attorney at Kraft & Associates.

Statute of limitations

A defendant may seek to dismiss a plaintiff’s personal injury lawsuit by arguing that the suit was not filed prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the legal time limit in which a plaintiff must file a personal injury lawsuit in Texas.

If a Texas court finds that the plaintiff’s lawsuit was not filed in a timely manner, the court can grant the defendant’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers have encountered all of these defenses and know how to respond to them to pursue an injury claim.

When to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in an accident or incident in the Dallas metroplex through no fault of your own, you may wonder if you need a personal injury attorney to help you pursue compensation. It is important that you call a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following your injuries. Investigating and preparing a personal injury claim takes time.

You may be contacted by insurance adjusters who may want you to settle your claim as soon as possible in exchange for quick compensation. However, these settlement offers rarely compensate victims for all the losses and expenses related to a serious injury. A personal injury lawyer at Kraft & Associates can review any settlement offer you receive and advise you as to whether the offer is reasonable in relation to your specific injuries. Having handled many personal injury claim negotiations, our attorneys bring an informed perspective to the task of evaluating settlement offers.

If you need to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for your injuries, you have a limited period of time to file your complaint. Therefore, it is important to speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injuries. Your lawyer may need to investigate the facts and circumstances of your accident to file a lawsuit on your behalf. It is important that you give yourself and your attorney as much time as possible to prepare to file a lawsuit.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Dallas Injury Cases?

Under Texas law, there is a limit on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit for compensation for your personal injuries. This filing deadline is known as the statute of limitations. Generally speaking, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you fail to file your lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations, the court can dismiss your suit.

There are certain circumstances under which the court may extend the time allowed to file a lawsuit. The most common instance is known as the discovery rule, which states that the statute of limitations does not begin to run until an injured party knows or should have known of his or her injury that led to the legal claim. If an injured person is a minor, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until he or she turns 18.

If you wish to assert a personal injury claim against the Texas state government or a government agency, you have an obligation to provide the government with notice of your claim within six months of the date of your injury. You must provide the government with timely notice before you may be permitted to file a lawsuit for your injuries. If you fail to provide timely notice, your case can be dismissed by the trial court. These notification requirements make reaching out to a Dallas injury attorney essential to pursue a claim.

Contact Kraft & Associates

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury through no fault of your own, contact the Dallas personal injury attorneys at Kraft & Associates today for a free case assessment. Our knowledgeable lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and options following a serious injury and can help you how to file a personal injury claim. It is critical that you contact Kraft & Associates as soon as possible to protect your interests and rights to compensation. Call us at (214) 999-9999 or fill out a contact form to schedule your consultation.